Federal prosecutors and lawyers for Guyanese businessman Ed Ahmad, who has been indicted in a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme, have reached a plea arrangement.
According to a letter seen by this newspaper and which was filed today by Assistant United States Attorney Alexander A Solomon, Ahmad’s matter was yesterday adjourned to October 10 for a “guilty plea.”
As such he said that the prosecution and the defence are requesting from Judge Dora Irizarry that time be excluded from the speedy trial computation between September 21 and October 20 for “the purpose of permitting the parties to finalise their plea negotiations.”
Ahmad had made a US$40,000 payment to Rep Gregory Meeks (D-NY) in 2007 that the Congressman failed to disclose on his Financial Disclosure Reports for 2007, 2008, and 2009. Meeks subsequently claimed the $40,000 payment was a loan, but there were no note or payments until several years after the payment was made. Last year the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate the matter. The OCE reported that Meeks “refused to cooperate with the OCE’s investigation,” NLPC noted.
Ahmad was detained last July on charges that he operated a US$50 million mortgage-fraud scheme in Queens, New York. He faces a maximum of 30 years in jail. He is currently on US$2.5 million bail.
Ahmad’s case has attracted great interest in Guyana because of his close ties to former president Bharrat Jagdeo. Ahmad had shipped a container of goods to Jagdeo at State House and many questions were asked about this.
Three alleged co-conspirators — Ahmad’s cricket friends and employees — were also indicted in an associated case last year, court records show.
The report said that Queens-based brokers Qayaam Farrouq, Mohamed Gurmohamed and Guyanese cricketer Steve Massiah were charged with defrauding banks and mortgage companies by falsifying mortgage-loan applications to make borrowers appear more creditworthy to financial institutions, court records show.
The matter against Massiah has since been dismissed without prejudice.